The calendar of commemorations in use in the LCMS suggested my midweek sermons this Advent. Each Wednesday this December involves the commemoration of a noted figure from Christian history. I’m still working on a few of the details, but here include the readings I’ll be using each week, plus a hymn stanza for Saint Nicholas. If I decide to write something for the next two (Saint Lucia and Katharina “Katie” von Bora Luther), I hope to also share it with readers. As with previous hymns I’ve posted here (similar to the columns), I retain copyright but grant permission to use in unaltered form in Christian worship.
Unfortunately, the LCMS, even in the new hymnal, does not provide readings for any of these. I was able to find lectionary suggestions from other sources for Nicholas and Lucy, adding the Isaiah passage for Nicholas. I worked with existing collects for both of these, also. For Katie Luther, I found nothing, so all of the readings are my own suggestions, as is the collect.
Saint Nicholas — 6 December AD 342
Psalm 78:3-7 or 145:8-13
1 John 4:7-14
My sermon is from the Gospel, the theme, “Let the Children Come.”
O Lord, let Your continual mercy enkindle in Your Church the unfailing gifts of charity and faith, that, following the example of your servant Nicholas of Myra, we may have grace to deal in generosity and love with children and with all who are poor and distressed, to uphold the cause of those who have no helper, and to strive for purity of doctrine in the Church; for the sake of Him who gave His life for us, Your Son our Savior Jesus Christ, who lives and reigns with You and the Holy Spirit, one God, now and forever.
I include this commemorative stanza of the hymn “By All Your Saints in Warfare,” a public domain text which uses the copyright arrangement of King’s Lynn by Ralph Vaughn Williams:
With joy Your Church remembers
Saint Nicholas, the blest,
Who gave up earthly treasures
And Jesus’ name confessed.
The poor and weak he welcomed,
The heretic he scorned;
Through faith and life and preaching,
Christ’s Gospel he adorned.
Hymn text © 2006 by Walter P. Snyder.
Saint Lucia (Lucy) — 13 December AD 304
I plan upon using the sermon theme “The Lord Came with Fire,” based upon the Deuteronomy reading.
NB: Since Agatha is often commemorated with Lucia, the collect allows the option of including both.
O Almighty God, by whose grace and power Your holy martyr(s) Lucy (and Agatha) triumphed over suffering and was (were) faithful even unto death, grant us, who now remember her (them) with thanksgiving, to be so faithful in our witness to You in this world, that we may receive with her (them) the crown of life; through Jesus Christ our Lord, who lives and reigns with You and the Holy Spirit, one God, forever and ever.
Katharina von Bora (Katie) Luther — 20 December AD 1552
Proverbs 31:10-31 or 31:10-12, 17, 20, 23, 25-31
1 Corinthians 7:1-9
The sermon is from Proverbs 31, “Surpassing Excellence.”
Dear heavenly Father, You establish marriage to bless and benefit all mankind and to testify to the world of the marriage of Christ and His Bride the Church. Grant that, as You led Katharina von Bora to become the wife of Martin Luther and, through her, blessed not only him but all Christendom, so You would also seal and protect marriages in our day, that families, society, and Church would be strengthened, stabilized, and nurtured until You call us to the wedding feast of the Lamb in His kingdom, which has no end; through this same Bridegroom, our Lord Jesus Christ, who lives and reigns with You and the Holy Spirit, one God, now and forever.
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